I’ve said it before and I will say it again now, The Sands Event Center has really out done themselves during 2013. They continued their streak of phenomenal shows with a very special this past Saturday from Weezer. The band is only out for a very small tour run before the holiday season and it was impressive to see such a big name act get pulled into the Sands. I failed to check if the show was sold out officially on Ticketmaster but judging by the massive amounts of people there I can confidently say that the venue was pretty close, if not at capacity that night. Though doors opened at 7:30, most fans didn’t come in to the venue from the bar until round 9 after the local opener had left the stage. By the time 9:15 hit the venue was filling up and soundcheck had begun.
Comically enough, Rivers Cuomo did the soundcheck himself wearing a hard hat and an outfit that made him look like one of the village people but it was pretty cool to see him out there taking part in the pre-show activities. It was obvious that some fans knew it was him but the vast majority of the crowd didn’t catch on which was also pretty comical. Just as quickly as he had appeared, he disappeared and the lights in the venue went dark with anticipation of the start of the show. As the band walked out covered in warm orange lighting the crowd went crazy but just when I thought they couldn’t yell any louder they did as the spotlights came on and an LED “W” was raised in the background as Rivers started belting out the opening lyrics to “My Name is Jonas.”
For the first three song the band remained pretty stationary at their microphones with their guitars, only coming together momentarily for a small guitar part and returning to their spots. Scott Shriner and Brian Bell both were on point on their respective instruments and were just as much a part of the stage show as Rivers was. In fact, Scott had a large amount of fans who strategically positioned themselves on his side of the stage just be to closer to their bass playing idol. As the night when on though things got more and more animated and by the fourth song, “Troublemaker,” Rivers had ditched his guitar and was jumping around with just a wireless microphone in his hand.
Sure, Weezer hasn’t released any new material in a couple of years but that didn’t hinder this performance at all. If anything the lack of new material helped the show out because it allowed the band to really focus on some older stuff that all the hardcore fans out their would appreciate. Their 18-song setlist spanned the entire length of their two-decade long career with songs such as “Hash Pipe,” “Dope Nose,” “Beverly Hills” and “Undone” all making the list for the Sands show.
Great band’s always delivered great live shows, it is just a simple fact that gets proven time and time again. Weezer are at the top of their game in terms of live performances and hopefully they can get some new material out soon and launch a full international tour in support of it. If you missed the show at the Sands you should truly be upset with yourself because Rivers, Scott, Brian and Patrick delivered what could arguably have been the best performance of 2013 in Bethlehem. Next time they come through PA you better get a pair of tickets and experience Weezer for yourself. For those who were there and those who missed it be sure to check out Sight of Sound Magazine’s exclusive gallery from the show below containing a variety of shots from the first 3 songs of the night :